Group of Senate Democrats Follows Internet Giants’ Lead by ‘Unfriending’ Online Privacy Bill

Jeffrey ErnstFriedman | June 03, 2011

June 3, 2011 - A bill (SB 242) that would strengthen online privacy failed to get the 21 votes necessary for California State Senate passage on June 2 (19-17 with 4 non-votes).

Four of the five top Democrat recipients of campaign contributions connected to industries opposing the bill either voted against the measure or did not vote. In all, six Democrats did not vote in favor of passage (either by voting 'No' or not voting).

  • Interest groups that oppose this bill (Telecommunications, Chambers of commerce, Online computer services, etc.) gave 105% more to Senate Democrats who voted NO than to Senate Democrats who voted YES.

Top Five Democrat Recipients from Interest Groups that Oppose SB 242

$ From Interest Groups  
That Support
$ From Interest Groups   
That Oppose
Alex PadillaDCA-20$58,400$85,447Not Voting
Darrell SteinbergDCA-6$55,500$81,100Yes
Rod WrightDCA-25$39,200$76,516No
Lou CorreaDCA-34$68,440$75,296No
Ron CalderonDCA-30$46,650$73,500No

The bill was supported by organizations such as the California Alliance of Retired Americans, the California State Sheriffs’ Association, the Child Abuse Prevention Council, and the Peace Officer Research Association of California. The bill was opposed by the California Cable and Telecommunication Association, the California Chamber of Commerce, and a number of popular web companies such as eHarmony, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Skype, and Zynga.

Methodology: A MapLight analysis of contributions to campaigns of senators in office on day of vote, from interest groups invested in the vote according to MapLight, January 1, 2007 – December 31, 2010. Campaign contributions data source: